Summer is a fabulous time to live in the Bay – we really are spoilt! However it also brings with it some painful  – and preventable – problems for our pets..

The dreaded ‘grass seed season’ is here! Grass seeds attach to fur and with their arrowhead shape, burrow under the skin causing pain and infection. The most common signs are licking an area excessively, swelling and lameness. They are usually found around the feet and ears but can migrate and cause major problems. Keeping your dogs coat short in summer and checking their fur & feet after every walk will avoid these nasties.

Hot summer days can be tough on our pets, as their warm fur coats were designed to conserve heat.  Clipping our longer haired breeds of dogs and cats can make a big difference. Dogs reduce their temperature by panting rather than sweating, which isn’t very efficient. Therefore never leave your dog in a car over summer and always provide shade. Heatstroke is an emergency and requires immediate cooling while enroute to your vet. Older dogs and brachycephalic breeds such as pugs and bulldogs are especially prone. If your pet is struggling this summer, consider a summer trim, provide frozen water blocks to lick and purchase a cooling pad to lie on.

To avoid itchy pets, monthly treatment with a veterinary flea product for all house pets is essential. The flea breeding cycle speeds up in summer and we see a lot of resulting allergies which often require medication. In addition, ensure you rinse your dog off after a trip to the beach to remove irritating salt and sand, and for those pets with white noses, remember to apply animal suncream daily.

Lastly, please don’t give your dog left over chops, sausages or fatty pieces of meat from the BBQ. Cooked bones can cause blockages, resulting in major surgery and fatty meals can cause life threatening pancreatitis – not fun!

I hope these tips help and you have a great summer with your furry family!

 

Nina Smith: BVSc